I can't think of anything more melancholy than listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and hearing "Us and Them". It is positively mood altering. Doesn't matter the time of day or the weather, it just does it every time.
Makes one melancholy, that is.
I can remember hearing it for the first time in a small town in upstate New York, what, thirty years or more ago? What is it about the power of well-crafted music that puts us on this edge of the abyss? And with perfunctory regularity?
A couple of hours ago I left the pool tournament ( I was doing poorly, lost two games if you're keeping score, as the director surely was) with the rejoinder from the barmaid "Are you missing your sweetie, Outfoxed?"
To be sure, I am.
Ally has gone to South Carolina for the weekend on a softball mission with Beth, the beginning of the summer long hiatus in which many weekends will be spent touring the Southeast coast of the U.S. with various and sundry unwashed girls who spend untold amounts of time belting an 11" circumference ball with an aluminum alloy bat. I spend the majority of that circuit at home, crafting journal entry's and musing about the longevity of life and the constant torture and boredom adhered to it.
No, I'm not quite that melancholy. Still. It makes for long and uneventful weekends, to be sure.
On a positive note (there shall ever be a positive note in the land of Outfoxed, won't there?) middlest daughter Maggie spends her weekend here at the house so that she can work at her summer job, a job I would probably cheerfully give up the construction game for. She sweeps the cigarette butts and the empty beer cups of the faithful who flock to the local concert venue, in this case an Ampitheatre, on concert night. Translation: On any given night she might be privy to the likes of Dave Matthews, or Melissa Etheradge, or maybe even Steely Dan. She sweeps for awhile, in her smock bearing someone's logo, then rests for a while.
Sweeping, resting. Listening, to stuff she either likes or despises. With 20,000 other fans and workers.
I could sweep. I have been known to perform excellently at this task.
But, after all. It's not what we would choose. To do.
I like my middlest daughter. Well, yeah I love her too. But liking her is more paramount to the ceaseless question of adulthood than loving her, at this stage of the game. I like people who are prone to the musical gift, the turn of a phrase or the eyes closed, swaying rhythm of boisterous tunes. And even more so if they can articulate it and give due cause.
As she surely can.
It's probably not fair to play favorites with multiple children who look somewhat like me. Given the principle of parenthood which demands equal treatment of all progeny, I have shamelessly fallen victim to the trait of liking those who are most like me. In this case, Maggie, as she most closely resembles what I am now, or would like for her to be.
I suspect she uses that to some advantage.
If you have very young children, you might know this already. There might be one among them that so makes you want to draw them out, to make them perfect and adult and full of reason and the little traits of one wise beyond years.
Just let them be. Chances are, they've already figured it out and will take the best of what is you into a new and more profound arena. One that will leave you gaping with the wholeness of it all.
But, at days end, they might still miss their sweetie. They might find comfort in that.
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